Saudi diplomat case: Given 1 roti a day, says maid who escaped

  • Leena Dhankhar, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Sep 13, 2015 21:58 IST
Neetu said she was threatened by the diplomat’s family. (Leena Dhankhar/ HT photo)

Hindustan Times on Saturday met Neetu, the domestic help who had managed to get out of the Saudi diplomat’s house and was the first to alert NGO Maiti India, via her friend Anita, about the two trapped Nepalese women who later alleged rape.

Neetu, who hails from Darjeeling in West Bengal, told HT that she had been hired as a cook at the diplomat’s apartment on July 28 this year.

Neetu’s friend Anita, who was the first to alert Maiti India, claimed she had approached both the Nepal and the Saudi Arabian embassies over the plight of the trapped women, but no one took her seriously.

Neetu, in turn, told HT that she had been hired to work for the diplomat by Anwar in July at a promised pay of 1,000 dirhams (Rs 18,000).

Anwar, a resident of Kerala, is allegedly the man who got the two Nepalese women placed at the house of the Saudi diplomat.

“Anwar took me to Gurgaon. He told me that if I worked hard then my salary will come on time,” Neetu said.

Initially, things were easy for her but the situation soon turned ugly.

“We were given just one roti to eat in a day along with some black tea. The family used to eat pre-cooked food and hardly asked me to prepare rice for them”, said Neetu.

She added that she was promised one day off a week, which was never given. In fact, she was piled with extra work like cleaning, dusting and washing clothes.

“The other two girls and I were not allowed to talk and were made to sleep in different rooms. The family had dinner twice a day, at 8pm once and then again at 2am.
So, we were usually up till 4am washing the utensils and cleaning the living room and kitchen. The employer’s wife then woke us up at 6am,” she said.

All the three domestic helps were eager to escape from the house and the diplomat had sensed that, Neetu claimed. Hence, he locked them up from 4am to 6am.

“I was asked to give them massages on some occasions but I refused. I did not understand their language and they didn’t understand ours,” Neetu said.

After around a month of staying there, she decided that she had had enough and had to get out.

The family members, however, threatened her.

On August 23, Neetu said she got a call from her husband. “I took the call and spoke to him. But, as soon as I was done talking, the employer snatched my mobile
phone from me furiously. I was angry and told them that I did not want to work with them anymore,” said Neetu.

“The wife of the employer abused me and even held a knife to me and threatened to kill me,” she said. The family then got in touch with Anwar and asked him to come take her away.“Anwar came and asked me to go downstairs and wait. I packed my bag and went down. I waited for two hours but he did not come. I later called my husband who came and picked me up from the main gate,” Neetu said.

“I worked for nearly 25 days and was not paid for even a single day. I will approach a court if I do not get my pending salary,” she said.

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